Some themes are so great that comments seem to detract. Themes like “the ocean measureless,” “the sky without dimensions,” or “God is love” all seem to describe themselves without our embellishing them. As we think about God, we understand that His every act must be interpreted in terms of love. In this article, we want to explore exactly what is meant by the statement, “God is love” as seen in 1 John 4:8.

GOD IS LOVE – 1 JOHN 4:8 – All of God’s works involve His nature in some way or the other. It is shown in the creation of the earth as a place suitable for man that He planned to create. As we look around us, we see His love in the beauty of nature as expressed by the Psalmist in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” I am confident that no park, regardless of its beauty, can compare with the Garden before sin. It was made for man before he was created. With this in mind, we can say that love was here ahead of man with outstretched arms when he arrived and came into the richest material dowries of the earth.

HIS LOVE IS SEEN IN CREATING MAN IN HIS IMAGE – Man is the only creature bearing the image of God (Genesis 1:27). What honor! What wonderful love! At the end of creation week, God placed man in lovely Eden where He communed with him (Genesis 2:16, 17). Tragically, though, man sinned, and by doing so he kept not that high position. Because of man’s transgression, God closed the gates of Eden against him, but opened the door of repentance (Genesis 3:24). Although man was separated from the tree of life, he was promised that he would again have access to it (Genesis 3:24; Revelation 2:7). As such, God did not withdraw his love from man. With deeper love than He showed in preparing the earth for man, God then planed man’s redemption (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).

CHRIST, A MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S LOVE – God’s love was expressed in superlative degree by the sending of His uniquely begotten Son (John 3:16). As we consider the sacrifice of Christ, we see the manifestation of the love of God. In many ways we might say that He is a photograph of God’s love. He lived among men doing good everywhere He went. While living among men, He suffered for man (Isaiah 53:4, 5). The great scope of the love of God is seen in that Christ died for man (John 19:30) offering the only way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12;  1 Peter 1:18, 19).

THE CHURCH IS A MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S LOVE – In study of the New Testament, we see that the church plays a vital role in God’s plan of redemption. In it we are under cover of the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). In it we are shown to be heirs of all the promises of God (Romans 8:17). In the New Testament the church is shown to be the bride ready to meet the Lord (Revelation 21:2). As such, it must be watching for His second coming (Mark 13:35). In order to be the spotless bride that the Lord expects to see in the end, it must be kept unspotted from the world (James 1:27). It is only in the church that we can claim the fatherhood of God (Romans 8:15) since it serves as the family of God (Ephesian 3:15).

THE BIBLE IS A MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S LOVE – When we understand that the Bible is the revelation of the mind of God, we are able to see love in it! Study of the New Testament reveals the fact that the Holy Spirit gave it to man (2 Timothy 3:16). Through His loving providence God preserves it for man’s benefit (Mark 13:31). Because of this, we should read it on bended knees. It will keep us from sin (Isaiah 7:15), and nothing but sin will keep it from us.  It is God’s loving message that will lead us to Him and heaven (James 1:21, 22).

THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE GROWS OUT OF GOD’S LOVE – JOHN 3:16 – All material things will perish (2 Peter 3:10, 11). All animal life ceases or dies (1 Peter 1:24). However, the spirit of man will survive because of the love God has for it.

Oh, how wonderful it is to comprehend the fact that “God is love.”